International arrivals for Scotland’s National Airshow

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#airshowscot Scotland’s National Airshow

A 1940s Catalina flying boat G-PBYA © John Dibbs.
1940s Catalina flying boat G-PBYA © John Dibbs.

I am delighted to provide the list of confirmed participants so far for Scotland’s National Airshow 2016. In no particular order, and certainly not in display order, we have:

  • The Red Arrows (Hawk x 9)
  • Swiss Air Force PC-7 TEAM (PC-7 x 9)
  • RAF Typhoon
  • BBMF Spitfire
  • BBMF Hurricane
  • BBMF Lancaster
  • RN Black Cats (Wildcat x 2)
  • RNHF Swordfish
  • Norwegian Historic Squadron Vampire Pair (Vampire x 2)
  • Norwegian Historic Squadron MiG 15 UTI
  • Red Bull Matadors (XtremeAir XA41 x 2)
  • P-51 Mustang
  • Catalina
  • Starduster Too
  • Jungman
  • Pitts Special
  • UH-1H Huey
  • BAC Strikemaster (Royal Air Force of Oman colours)
  • Hughes OH-6A Cayuse “Loach” Helicopter
Swiss Air Force PC-7 Team in Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainers © Swiss Department of Defence, Public Defence and Sport DDPS
Swiss Air Force PC-7  TEAM in Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainers © Swiss Department of Defence, Public Defence and Sport DDPS

Swiss Air Force PC-7 team

I’m extremely pleased with the line-up for 2016 as it has a definite ‘international’ feel to it.  The Swiss Air Force PC-7 team are going to be a particular highlight.  They displayed at RIAT in 2015 and when the East Fortune display was mentioned in a conversation they jumped at the chance to be invited and here they are one year later, taking part.  The whole team are looking forward to coming to Scotland as it’s a place that none of them have ever visited.  They will be staying all weekend so if anybody sees a very happy group of Swiss tourists on the Sunday following the display, it may well be them – I’m hoping to show them at least a bit of Scottish hospitality before they depart on the Monday.

Norwegian Historic Squadron's MiG 15© Richard Paver Photography 2015
Norwegian Historic Squadron’s MiG 15© Richard Paver Photography 2015

Norwegian Historic Squadron

We have a a good line-up of vintage jets from the Norwegian Historic Squadron, with their Vampire Pair and the MiG 15.  The Vampire is a particular favourite of mine; as a child of the 50s and 60s the first RAF jet I ever saw was a Vampire T11 and I was transfixed.  It was also the first RAF jet that I ever sat in, so can be classed as a major influence in my upbringing.  The MiG is also an iconic aircraft, being the first successful Soviet jet fighter (with incidentally a copy of a Rolls Royce engine, gifted to the Soviet Union by the UK government at the end of World War 2).  Flown by Russian and Chinese pilots over Korea, the MiG 15 was a sharp shock for the US, UK and Allied airmen opposing them.

Royal Norwegian Airforce Vampire pair display team.
Royal Norwegian Airforce Vampire pair display team.

We also have a BAC Strikemaster, the punchy cousin of the RAF’s Jet Provost, flying in the colours of the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO), which in those days (late 60s, early 70s) was largely manned by RAF aircrew on secondment.  The Strikemaster played a prominent part in the Dhofar conflict against Yemeni rebels in the south of Oman where many RAF ground attack pilots learned their trade.

Red Bull Matadors

A totally different type of display will be provided by the Red Bull Matadors.  The two pilots, Paul Bonham and Steve Jones, are well known in the air racing world and they provide what is one of the best pairs aerobatic displays on the circuit.  The video of them flying through a hangar has to be seen to be believed.

Light aerobatic displays

On the light aerobatic front, and joining local heroes Jim McTaggart (Starduster) and Gavin Hunter (Jungmann), Rich Goodwin will be displaying his Pitts Special ‘Muscle’ aircraft.  Rich has modified his Pitts with a larger engine and other performance enhancing items and provides a stunning series of manoeuvres that according to the laws of aerodynamics just shouldn’t be allowed.

Gavin Hunter flying his Bucker Jungmann for Scotland's National Airshow in 2014. © Spencer Harbar Photography.
Gavin Hunter flying his Bucker Jungmann for Scotland’s National Airshow in 2014. © Spencer Harbar Photography.

I hope there’s something for everyone in this year’s display; the planning is moving well, and I think it may be the best National Museum of Flight show in many a year.

Best regards until next time,

Norm Webster


#NewHangars

The Second World War hangars at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune Airfield have undergone a £3.6 million restoration and refurbishment and were unveiled on Good Friday 25 March 2016. The hangars house an array of world-class military, leisure and commercial aircraft engagingly presented alongside interactives and film.  The stories of those who piloted, worked or flew in the aircraft are told through thought-provoking interviews and displays featuring uniforms, documents and photographs.

If you found this post interesting there’s a good chance that your friends and colleagues will also, so do share using #airshowscot #NewHangars

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